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Massachusetts Fatality

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by DandyDon, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Jax

    Jax Deplorable American ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: AZ TX
    Copy and paste for future reference. Lines were bolded by me.

    By Andy Rosen Globe Staff April 26, 2016

    The group of four divers was descending toward a wrecked tanker near Gloucester when Peter Piemonte’s companions noticed he had let go of the line they were holding and was sinking toward the ocean floor.

    Piemonte, 61, was an experienced scuba diver with many challenging journeys under his belt, but investigators believe he had not even reached the Chester Poling wreck Saturday before something went wrong.

    The Essex district attorney’s office on Monday was continuing its investigation into Piemonte’s death, according to Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman. Factors under review include whether he drowned, suffered from a medical issue, or had an equipment problem, she said. No foul play is suspected.

    The divers were about 75 feet down when they noticed that Piemonte, who lived in Belchertown, was unresponsive.

    Piemonte’s wife, Donna Collins Piemonte, said diving was a consuming activity for the professional aviator, who also was deeply interested in golf and fly fishing.

    “He always enjoyed it, and he always prepared for it, and he was always looking forward to the next dive,” she said, adding: “Whatever he did, he did it all-out.”

    On Saturday morning, Piemonte was heading to a 282-foot coastal tanker that sank the morning of Jan. 10, 1977, after being smashed by a giant wave amid high winds.

    The Chester Poling’s tanks were empty at the time, and it has since become an artificial reef.

    The ship is in two pieces and sits in water as deep as 190 feet, according to the State Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources. The ship’s stern is the most popular dive wreck off of Cape Ann despite the technical difficulty posed by its depth, the board says.

    The wreck, which is near Eastern Point, has claimed at least one other life since it sank. In 1983, a Carlisle man apparently died of a heart attack after running out of air underwater.

    Piemonte went out early Saturday on a 36-foot diving boat called the Gauntlet, which sails out of Glover Wharf marina in Beverly, according to the Coast Guard. Northern Atlantic Dive Expeditions, which Kimball Monahan confirmed was the company in charge of the dive, could not be reached.

    Kimball Monahan said the divers were descending when they saw Piemonte let go of the line. One of his companions swam down to him and used an inflatable device to bring him quickly to the surface.

    Back aboard the Gauntlet, staff began to perform CPR, but it was too late. A Coast Guard vessel from Station Gloucester escorted the Gauntlet to shore, where a medical team was waiting.

    Rescuers took him to Addison Gilbert Hospital in Beverly, where he was pronounced dead.

    Piemonte had never been one to shrink from an adventure like the one he had planned for Saturday morning.

    In a 2011 interview with the Daily Hampshire Gazette , he relayed the story of his dive through the wreckage of a fragile Japanese freighter from World War II, describing an escape as parts of the structure collapsed. The danger didn’t scare him off.

    “The idea of seeing something that no one has seen since it slipped beneath the waves is just fascinating,” he said of his hobby. “You’re looking at a moment that’s frozen in time.”

    Donna Collins Piemonte remembers that a successful dive to the Andrea Doria — a dangerous, deep wreck off of Nantucket where a diver was killed last year — spurred Piemonte to kick his hobby into high gear a decade ago.

    Piemonte brought the same devotion to his relationships with his friends and family, and to his job managing a corporate jet service, his wife said. He is survived by a “very loving family” that includes siblings, nieces, and nephews whom “he absolutely adored,” she said.

    “Those around him benefited by always learning from him — by being inspired,” she said. “He was a compelling man who was compelled to give back.”

    Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.
  2. kwinter

    kwinter Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Jersey
    I was told that he was diving a P2, having switched from his rEvo a little while ago.
  3. crabbyfiddler

    crabbyfiddler Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Georgia
    I'm so sorry for your loss, and for all who knew and loved him. I hope they have some answers so that all will have closure. RIP.

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